Brian Ji | Daily TrojanThe USC men’s basketball team impressed in its season opener Friday night, defeating the University of San Diego Toreros 83-45 at the Galen Center.Sophomore guards Jordan McLaughlin and Elijah Stewart paced the Trojans in the blowout win. McLaughlin led the way with a game-high 20 points, while Stewart recorded his first career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.“I thought our team played a very up-tempo game tonight,” head coach Andy Enfield said. “We pressed and pushed the ball. I thought they were smart. I thought they played within themselves.”The Trojans pulled away early in the first half with an 11-0 run to take a 19-6 lead at the 12:17 mark. A three by McLaughlin with 28 seconds remaining in the half sent the Trojans into halftime with a 42-19 advantage. “We were playing well as a team,” Enfield said on the first half run. “We were rebounding, defending, pushing the tempo and made some shots. I thought that was the key to the entire first half. We just have to play, not think a whole lot and give great effort.”USC did not let off the gas pedal in the second half, outscoring USD 41-26 to finish off the victory. Freshmen Bennie Boatwright and Chimezie Metu played well in their first career collegiate games. Boatwright, who started for USC, scored the game’s first points with a three-pointer from the top, showcasing his skill as a big man who can score from inside and out.Boatwright finished with 10 points and six rebounds in 15 minutes of play, while Metu’s athleticism was on full display as he recorded five blocks to go along with five points and five rebounds.Boatwright and Metu played together for a stretch in the second half, and combined to score seven straight at one point for the Trojans, who appear to have struck gold with their recruits.“[Boatwright] had three fouls early, and he settled down in the second half,” Enfield said. “Played great in the second half. [Metu] was active all game. He had five blocked shots and made a couple of nice moves. I’m happy with them. They got their feet wet in Division I basketball.”Several of Metu’s blocks ignited fastbreaks – USC finished with 16 fastbreak points to just four for USD. One play in particular in the first half saw Metu block a layup attempt, which led to a fastbreak layup on the other end by Katin Reinhardt set up by McLaughlin to put the Trojans ahead 28-11.“We played fast like we did last year, but we played smarter,” McLaughlin said.McLaughlin, who underwent offseason shoulder surgery, looked fresh and improved in the season opener, shooting 8-of-12 from the field.“It felt great,” McLaughlin said. “While I was out this offseason, I watched a lot of film and figured out where I could play fast and play smart. I had to learn where I could slow my game down. This offseason I got into the gym a lot, and it showed tonight.”Stewart also seemed much-improved with a year of experience under his belt. He chalked the win up to team chemistry.“We’ve been playing together for about a year now,” Stewart said. “It’s just knowing what each other can do. Coach told us if we make more than three passes, we’re 75 percent efficient. So we just tried to build up on that stat and pass the ball for the open shot.”Defensively, the Trojans held USD to 24.6 percent shooting, and the 38-point win represents the largest in Enfield’s coaching career at USC.It was a stark contrast from last season’s opener, which saw the Trojans get upset by Portland State at home.“It felt differently because we’re a better basketball team,” Enfield said. “We have more talent. We’re playing better as a team.”Enfield’s job was made easy Friday night, as the Trojans never trailed and never had their lead threatened.“They work extremely hard,” Enfield said. “They’re confident in the way they work in the weight room, and on the court. They’re just excited to play. I didn’t have to raise my voice at all tonight, and I don’t plan on doing that.”USC has won 17 of its last 21 home openers and is 4-0 all-time against USD. The Trojans next play on Wednesday at home against Monmouth, which defeated UCLA earlier on Friday.
The two suspects wanted in connection with the robbery committed on an Angoy’s Avenue, New Amsterdam, Berbice home on Wednesday last are now in Police custody.Reports are three men armed with knives invaded the Mohabir family’s premises in the wee hours of Wednesday last while Jimmy Mohabir was asleep.Guyana Times understands that Mohabir was awakened by the noise and confronted one of the bandits who were at the time ransacking the house.A scuffle ensued between Mohabir and the bandit, who managed to cut Mohabir to his face in his effort to escape.However, Mohabir raised an alarm, which caused the bandits to immediately flee the scene.The perpetrator who had been fighting with Mohabir was subsequently detained by public-spirited persons, who rushed to their neighbour’s assistance.That bandit, McDonald Gobin, 39, a labourer of Angoy’s Avenue, has since been charged with the offence and remanded to prison.Following the incident, it was revealed that three gold chains and four gold bangles valued at $700,000 in addition to $350,000 in cash had been stolen.Police were able to apprehend the two other suspects, who are both expected to be charged shortly.